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Are These The Best Music Festivals and Outdoor Gigs in the North East this Summer?

May 29, 2017 in Festivals and Events 8

If you’ve ever attended a British music festival, you’ll know that despite the unpredictable weather there really is something magical about standing in a field with thousands of like music lovers enjoying a weekend of hedonism! I can even overlook the lack of beauty sleep, the dreaded toilet facilities and the epic burger van queues in return for care free moments like these…

tents, festival, party

Smiling despite the torrential rain at Kendal Calling 2014


Those green eyebrows were a nightmare to wash off!

So you can imagine my huge disappointment when I heard the news that Festival on the Wall which was due to take place near Hadrian’s Wall this August was cancelled! I had been invited to be a blogger in residence at the festival so I had been eagerly anticipating the event, but sadly it was not meant to be!

Luckily there are plenty of other well established (and really affordable!) music festivals taking place across the North East this year, so those new Joules wellies I had splashed out on will not be wasted. Here’s my round up of the best…

North East Chilli Festival: 30 June – 2 July

I had a blast at the North East Chilli Festival last year; the music, food, atmosphere and entertainment were all top notch! This year it promises to bigger and better than ever as it’s moving to a brand new venue in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland and for the first time ever camping tickets will be available! So for a fully immersive festival experience that has something for everyone, Chilli Fest is not to be missed!

Mouth of the Tyne Festival: 6 – 9 July

Mouth of Tyne Concerts Tynemouth

Me and my mate Anna Foster (from BBC Newcastle) at Mouth of the Tyne 2014

One thing’s for sure, we’re not short of stunning settings for music festivals here in the North East. Mouth of the Tyne Festival makes spectacular use of the Tynemouth Priory and Castle (an English Heritage site) as the backdrop for its series of summer gigs.

This year the coastal concerts will feature Elbow, Laura Marling, Tom Odell, Billy Ocean and loads more. The nearby Surf Cafe and Whitley Bay Playhouse are also getting involved by holding smaller, more intimate gigs. Check out the website above for full ticket info or simply head to King Edward’s Bay with a picnic and enjoy the sounds that fill the air above.

Corbridge Festival: 7 – 8 July

I’ve actually never been to the Corbridge Festival, even though it’s been going strong for several years and is located about 15 miles away from where I live in Newcastle! I’m definitely going to have to rectify that this year, especially as I’ve heard Craig Charles is DJ’ing, I love the funk and soul tunes he plays. Fellow blogger Samantha from North East Family Fun took her family along last year and you can read her review HERE.

Sunniside Live: 7 – 8 July

Live music in Sunderland Happy Mondays

On the same weekend as the Corbridge Festival, there’s a fantastic two day music event taking place in Sunderland. The legendary Happy Mondays are headlining and there’s a host of other big names too. There’s no camping at Sunniside Live but with loads of affordable hotels in the area plus quick and easy transport links to and from the event, it will still be really easy to make a weekend of it.

SummerTyne Americana Festival: 21 – 23 July

Summertyne Festival at the Sage 2017

Image credit: NGI

This is a feel-good festival with a difference, brought to you by the Sage Gateshead. Summertyne celebrates all kinds of American roots music and brings together some legendary artists, a whole bunch of rising stars and the best of the next generation for a weekend of exciting concerts.

This year’s line up includes The Shires, William Bell and Beth Nielsen Chapman and as always, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy live shows for free on the Sage’s outdoor ‘Jumpin’ Hot’ stage overlooking the River Tyne.

Live from Times Square: Various Dates from 27 July – 5 August

Live From Times Square Newcastle Ocean Colour Scene

In 2016 a series of open air concerts took place on the square outside the Life Science Centre and the atmosphere was out of this world! I was there to see Ocean Colour Scene and it was great to enjoy live music right in the heart of Newcastle city centre with the sun shining down on us.

I’m delighted to say that the stage is set to return to Times Square with an awesome line up of acts appearing over the course of 11 days, including Jake Bugg, Seasick Steve, James, Manic Street Preachers and more.

Hardwick Live: August 18 & 19

Hardwick Live Festival

Image credit: Metro Radio

With two of my favourite bands on the bill (Ocean Colour Scene and Smoove & Turrell), I am massively looking forward to Hardwick Live on Saturday 18th August. Soul II Soul are sure to get the crowds dancing that day too! The night before sees English ska legends Madness take the stage… It’s technically two separate events on consecutive days but it would be amazing to go to both and stay in the comfort of Hardwick Hall on the Friday night, that would surely be the most luxurious festival experience known to man?

South Tyneside Festival: Various Dates June – September

Image Credit: Visit England

This annual three-month celebration of music and culture gives thousands of locals and tourists the chance to enjoy a festival experience for FREE! It includes open-air concerts from chart topping acts like Busted, Sister Sledge and KT Tunstall in a unique and stunning setting.

Families will flock to Bents Park on Sea Road with their deck chairs and picnic baskets every Thursday and Saturday evening between 1 & 24 June to soak up the atmosphere, why not join them? The Summer Parade on the 1st July will also be a festival highlight, find out more HERE.

Lindisfarne Festival: 31 August – 3 September

If I wasn’t already booked to go on a girls weekend to Dublin for my birthday, I would be at Lindisfarne Festival without a doubt! With over 100 different acts performing across 7 different stages and an incredible setting close to Holy Island, this event could probably be hailed the jewel in the crown of North East festivals. Tickets for the full 4 day experience are only £89 including 3 nights camping so it’s an absolute bargain compared to some of the more famous festivals down South!

As you can see, it’s shaping up to be a fun filled summer, even without Festival on the Wall. If you know of any other local festivals or outdoor concerts that we should add to the list or you’re looking forward to attending any of the ones mentioned above I’d love to hear from you!

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[…] (Unfortunately this event was cancelled – but fear not, you can read about loads of other North East festivals HERE!) […]

Sam | North East Family Fun Blog
Sam | North East Family Fun Blog
6 years ago

Thanks for including our review – I REALLY want to watch a performance in Bents Park this year. Fingers crossed!

6 years ago

Hamsterley forest music festival

Tickets available at

6 years ago

Omg I had no idea that Elbow and Laura Marling were playing mouth of the tyne. Off to get tix now! Also gutted about Festival on the Wall here too. Such a shame. We love Americana tyne here too. We still rave about the year Arlo was one and we took him and had the best pulled pork burritos there!

Steve | Big Stevie Cool Blog

I really want to try the Chilli Fest but I’m always working when it’s on. Boooo!

catherine hooper
6 years ago

Brill roundup! Imogen is going along to the chili fest with her pal this year. We have already sorted out KT tunstall and (ahem!) busted tickets for Bents Park. Whoop!

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